Sit back, grab a cup of whatever floats your boat, and enjoy the read!
So, this map was your first 3D single player level creation?
This was my first 3D single player level creation that I've ever completed. I worked with Duke Nukem and made a hangar once, but that was the extent of my experience with 3D level creation. The thing is, Duke Nukem had a great level editor and it was overwhelmingly simple to use, but the game with all its Pig Cops and the like didn't intrest me. What story could I make and incorporate into a map with Pig Cops? So thats why I didn't really get into Duke Nukem 3D. Unreal however had a broad and vague storyline with many possibilities allowing me to be more creative and free with my level, encouraging me to get interested in completing the level and therefore, to learn the editor.
What got you into 3D gaming?
I remember running Wolfenstein 3d on my 286. We beat the game in a day... and that was the extent of my 3D gaming experience up until the time Duke and Quake came out. (I skipped Doom as it didn't run to well on my 286. By the time Duke and Quake came out I had upgraded to a Pentium...huge leap.) I don't think I'm a great 3D gamer, and I don't regulary play 3D games (I've playedWolfenstein, Dark Forces II, Duke, Quake I and II and Unreal.). I'm more of a turn based strategist (MOO II, Pax Imperia). But since I've been working on my computer and upgrading so its a speed demon, I started getting into 3D gaming just to see how well it ran and how good it looked. I only get mild enjoyment from 3D games oddly enough..
How does it feel to be first?
Well, my goal was to be first, and it shows. My level is a little buggy and in some places its less than perfect, and it's noticable. I wish I had taken my time and held off on releasing the level until it was fixed. That was my mistake. Its great to be on the leading edge of something for once, and I hope I can keep it up- but I'm afraid that my first level will give people the idea that I don't spend the time to add quality to my level. The only reason my level had bugs in it was because I was more involved in being first than being the best. My next goal: be the best.
It's The Hamburger Helper Hand vs. the DOW Scrubbing Bubbles, who would win... why?
DOW Scrubbing Bubbles. I play wargames with minatures, like Warhammer 40K and Chronopia. In a recent Chronopia tournament I bought 75 militia men, the cheapest and argubly the worst troops in the game. Each of my opponents bought 15 really good swordsmen. With in 3 turns I killed every single one of their men and sustained about 10% losses. The moral: massive numbers (the DOW Scrubbing Bubbles) will always overun the big lone 'tuff guy (Hamburger Helper Hand).
Briefly summarize the steps you took in creating this map:
Briefly? It took me 40-50 hours. :) Well, I started out with the canyon, originally it was gonna be a hangar, but I got into making rocks and well...it turned into a canyon. After that I wondered if I could make a cave, and I did. Realizing that a level made entirely of rocks would be boring as sin and that I could actually turn the level into a good single player level, I decided to implement the aliens and their base. I wrote up a storyline, made some sketches, edited the level a bit to meet the requirements, then added the alien base.
What's your favorite thing about UnrealED?
Ease of use, simplicity, straightforwardness. There aren't any cryptic tags, and unlike the Quake level editors I used briefly, it only took a few paragraphs from a tutorial (www.creativecarnage.com/unreal) to give me the concept behind the editor and the understanding to start making levels on my own. Remember, I learned the editor AND made the level in one three day period.
Everytime I make a level, no matter the size, that damn Hall Of Mirrors effect makes an appearance. Its so demoralizing to realize your level is screwed up by something you have no control over. However, it is fixable...and I've made it part of the level creation routine to hunt down those buggers before they get to big.
Any tips for new Unreal map authors?
Send your map to 3-4 friends first, have them look at it and give you criticism. Don't wait for the reviewers to find the errors like I did, it's bad publicity. Also, stick with the editor- even if you don't get it. If your having probs, go to Efnet #unrealed. I am usually there and so are a lot of good level designers who are VERY willing to help you out.
Have you ever eaten Spam?
I still don't know what it is besides a funky looking can on the shelf.
Did you complete the Unreal full-game?
Hell no. I got about half way through then discovered UnrealED. Nuff said. Although I will try so I can look at the architecture the pro's used.
How did it feel when the news of your map was running rampant across the Internet yesterday?
I freaked out. The version running rampat was the bugged version. The final version can be picked up here. Otherwise, it's a REALLY great feeling. Another thing, I have received a TON of letters about my level. Everyone was so excited about my level, and congratulated me on being able to complete it: it made my day. I'm still writing letters back to every single person who wrote me one thanking them for their support.
What's next for you in Unreal editing?
I'm going to keep putting out levels as long as I can. Eventually everyone gets tired and has to take a break. However, I have no job, school or appointments clogging my schedule up till August so it looks like I'll be spending 10-30 hours a week on making levels. My ultimate goal is for everyone to know who Foggymyst is and say "He makes good levels" Hopefully I can tune my skills so that when I leave the homestead next year (I'm 17), I'll be able to get a job somewhere doing what I love, making levels.
What's your favorite thing about the wilderness?
As I watch the forests around me get turned into damn golf courses I start missing the little things. Hearing the coyotes at night, having the occasional rattler wander in the house (sigh), the quiet, the trees which I still climb... all those things.
Any personal website, or anything about yourself you'd like to promote?
Check out Creativecarnage.com, and Creativecarnage.com/Unreal I personally learned everything I needed to start me off at creativecarnage.com/unreal. The tutorials by Dr.Sin are awesome... I recommend it.
Thanks for your time Steve, and Congratulations!!